Episode 8: The Power of Networking
This is cruel! Kobi lamented. “I understand your anger about my failure to return or send allowance as I promised, but pulling this huge prank to compel me to return here after all my explanations to you is obscene”. Nonetheless, Kobi was still forced to stay back in Sokoto under close surveillance of Femi and Nadia.
Pointing at the entrance of the estate where they live, Femi said to Kobi; “you see that long bench under that big yellow umbrella, that is my new office. With support from Nadia, I now sell Kerosene and fuel in small quantities to our neighbours to generate some money, and that is how we have been managing since you deserted us. You can as well join us in this business in the meantime while we pursue better jobs. This time, we will deal with the harsh reality together”
One Saturday evening, the two were preparing to close from work when they sighted an uninvited guest from afar. “This person looks like Joewie”, they said as the person approached. And voila, it was Joewie with his travel bag. “What brings you here”, they asked.” He responded with a smile; I travelled here to attend a pal’s wedding in the next village, so after the wedding I decided to spend a few days with you guys”. But guy, no dey behave like this, u for tell us sey you dey come na” Femi said. Joewie responded, “house wey Kwasi pity rent for una na im you wan dey form Boss on top? Kobi chipped in; no, but you know Nadia is also staying with us, and courtesy demands that we informed her that we will be having a guest”. Joewie responded in mockery; but courtesy did not demand that you both informed her and seek her permission before bonking her and getting her pregnant right? After long discussions, they all went home together that evening.
The following day, Femi and Kobi asked Joewie to assist them at their shop while they went out to make some inquiries. Adamu, a road side mechanic who was a regular customer came to buy some fuel as usual. Despite being a frequent customer, there was no cordial relationship between him and the business owners i.e., Femi and Kobi. All they did was transact. However, when Adamu came this time, Joewie engaged him in meaningful conversation. One talk led to another and Joewie informed him of his qualification as a graduate Chemical Engineer currently seeking for a job. The Mechanic responded; “haba! e get one of my big customers wey get one big construction company for town. Yesterday wey him come my shop with him car, I hear am dey talk for phone say him dey find engineer wey go dey work for am. In fact, the man brother dey my shop right now to collect the car for am. Come make we go talk to am”.
Recklessly, Joewie abandoned Femi and Kobi’s business and followed Adamu to his workshop. Surprisingly, the brother of the company owner, Bello was the hall rep of their hostel back then in school. Joewie and Bello recognized each other and exchanged pleasantries. Bello affirmed Joewie that his brother really needed a Graduate Engineer to work for his company, and instantly, he called his brother, Professor Garba and secured an appointment for Joewie to meet with him for the position the following Monday. Bello told him; “you have nothing to worry about Joewie. He is my brother, I will put in good words for you and you will definitely get the job”. With great enthusiasm, Joewie gave him a very big hug and appreciated him.
Lesson 3: Form good networks by building meaningful relationship with people.
It’s a common saying that one needs to have good networks in order to find a job; this is true in some cases. However, it doesn’t mean you necessarily have to know the hiring manager or someone that works with the company itself.
Start with people you know. Someone you know may know another who can help you. Do not look down on anyone. A food vendor you know can link you to his client in need of an employee. You can further grow a network full of helpful people by attending relevant events.
Most importantly, you should know that the power of network comes from the depth of connection. A 100 million networks will do no good if you do not communicate effectively with them. When you meet new people, create connection with them through meaningful conversations. When you communicate your skills, qualifications and job needs with them, they will get you in touch when they hear of a hiring opportunity. The more meaningful connections you have, the better. Click to learn more about how to build good network that works.
When Femi and Kobi returned, they were surprised to find their shop empty. Joewie, 5 Gallons of fuel, 2 gallons of kerosene, their funnels and umbrella were nowhere to be found. Only the bench was there. “He must have returned home with the items”, they guessed.
As they were about to head home to look for Joewie, they saw him giggling from afar. “Guys, I have good news for you”, he said as he approached them. He narrated his whole experience and the guys were wowed! “So you mean that common mechanic paved a way for you to secure a job! This is unbelievable! We have been here all these while and he never told us anything about the job opportunity”. Joewie responded in mockery; “well it’s probably because you guys don’t have a good rapport, opportunity only comes to those who seek it”. Anyway, this calls for celebration, he continued. “Since we don’t have much money to spoil ourselves, let go home and play games. Thank God you guys have packed up already”. Femi responded “Packed up what?, were you not the one that packed up the umbrella and the items?”. “No o, I didn’t pack up anything ooo, I had to rush up to grab the opportunity so I didn’t think of packing anything. In fact I didn’t even know I was going to stay this long”, he stuttered.
At that point, it became clear that they had been robbed. If you were in their shoes, what would you do?
For this and much more Information relating to employability skills, employment opportunities, career advancement, and entrepreneurship development; Join our Telegram and WhatsApp groups, and also follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook